The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. That bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Buck McKeon (R-CA), and Joe Heck (R-NV), would consolidate 27 different job training programs, including Job Corps, into a block grant to the states.
During the hearing Democrats, all four witnesses, as well as some Republicans expressed concerns regarding the proposal to consolidate the funding streams of 27 different programs into a block grant. The committee members and witnesses worried that this would incent state and local communities to avoid serving the hardest to serve populations, including disadvantaged youth, low-income adults, individuals with disabilities, and veterans, among others.
Democrats on the committee urged the committee to slow down the march to pass the bill so that some of the concerns with its shortcomings that were raised by all four witnesses and members of the Committee could be addressed.
The NJCA is continuing to work with members of the Committee includingReps. Lou Barletta (R-PA), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Phil Roe (R-TN), Joe Wilson (R-SC), as well as other influential Republican supporters such as Reps. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Doc Hastings (R-WA), Frank Lucas (R-OK) and , to try and remove Job Corps from H.R. 4297’s consolidation and block-granting proposal. Job Corps advocates in communities represented by these members should be sure to strengthen their relationships with these key members of Congress through education and outreach and communication from your influencers in your community.